Jiri Georges Lauda was born in the Czech Republic, where he trained in sculpture, printmaking, illustration, ceramics, murals and graphic design before immigrating to Montreal in 1951. In 1966, the inaugural year of the Montreal subway, he created a commemorative plaque in collaboration with Robert LaPalme illustrating the evolution of the city’s public transportation system since its establishment in 1861. He worked with Paul Pannier and Gérald Cordeau in 1968 to produce Le poète dans l’univers (“the poet in the universe”) at the Crémazie subway station: this immense ceramic mural pays homage to poets Hector de Saint-Denys Garneau, Émile Nelligan and Octave Crémazie, each represented by a wrought-iron mask placed in relief amid symbols of the solar system and the Zodiac. Lauda also created L’évolution du nursing (“the evolution of nursing”), a mural in the entrance hall to the Pavillon Marguerite-d’Youville of the Université de Montréal’s nursing faculty.
Georges Lauda, Paul Pannier et Gérard Cordeau, Le poète dans l’univers, 1968. Céramique et fer forgé. Station de métro Crémazie, Montréal. Photo: Anna-Karyna Barlati.